Travel blogs and the implications for destination marketing

Bing Pan, Tanya MacLaurin, John C. Crotts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

425 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores travel blogs as a manifestation of travel experience. Visitor opinions posted on leading travel blog sites were analyzed to gain an understanding of the destination experience being manifested. Travel blogs on Charleston, South Carolina, were collected through the three most popular travel blog sites and three blog search engines. Blogs were analyzed using semantic network analysis and content analysis methods to ascertain what bloggers were communicating about their travel experiences. Results revealed that major strengths of the destination were its attractions: historic charm, Southern hospitality, beaches, and water activities. Major weaknesses included weather, infrastructure, and fast-service restaurants. Qualitative results demonstrated that travel blogs are an inexpensive means to gather rich, authentic, and unsolicited customer feedback. Information technology advances and increasingly large numbers of travel blogs facilitate travel blog monitoring as a cost-effective method for destination marketers to assess their service quality and improve travelers' overall experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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